I’ve been in the Loss Prevention Industry for quite a while now, and it seems like at least once per year, my bosses send me a loss prevention seminar hosted somewhere around the country. My first couple of years on the job, I really thought these trips were a waste of my time. While I didn’t mind the idea of traveling to a new city, or having a little fun on the company’s dime, I really didn’t see the benefit in my rookie years.
It seemed like most seminars were focused on all the new security systems and anti-theft devices. Every booth I stopped into, I was trying to be sold a product. I didn’t make purchasing decisions, nor did I even have a small part in that process. Why was I there? I thought there were 500 other things, more productive things, I could be doing with my time. I look back at my first years and think of the opportunities I probably missed out on because I was so focused on the sales part of the seminar. I learned, as time went on, that there were so much more I could get out of them.
In the Loss Prevention field, I found that networking was incredibly useful in performing my job effectively. Every time I was in charge of a large external investigation, I always saw my suspect targeting the same merchandise at various other retailers. Knowing who your LP contacts are other retailers can make a big impact when you’re trying to close a case… or even just finding the identity of an unknown shoplifter. While out on these trips, I began talking with, and getting to know my industry peers. Even some of my company’s competitors were, and still are some of my best friends that I also constantly work with and collaborate ideas with.
Later on I also discovered that during most of these Loss Prevention seminars, I could sign up to hear experts, or law enforcement agencies talk about different crime gangs, or new theft trends they were seeing. One of the first times I sat in one on of these discussions, I listened to a Secret Service Agent give a presentation on counterfeit traveler’s checks. He passed around some literature and really went into detail about a married couple who had been traveling across the country passing counterfeit $500 checks to any retailer who would accept them. During his presentation, he stated that they had yet to be caught. This caught my attention because I had just recently been involved in a case where two suspects were apprehended at one of my stores for trying to pass the same counterfeit bills as this agent was describing. He closed by passing around some still images taken off a CCTV at a store and wouldn’t you know it… it was the same couple. After the presentation was over, I introduced myself and told the agent I had the identities of his suspects. For the next 2 days, I don’t think I bought my own drink. Next time you have the option to check out a seminar, even if you have to put in a little travel, I would highly recommend doing so; your next case may depend on it.
For more information, contact us at Loss Prevention Seminar, or call 1.770.426.0547